Red-lined Jordan breaks record
New Zealand 400m champion Alex Jordan returned to Nelson yesterday after being admitted to hospital following his record-breaking performance at the International Track Meet in Christchurch.
Running the anchor leg for the South Island 4x400m relay team, Jordan pushed himself to the limit of his powers, delivering what he described as "the best run of my life".
Immediately after the race, however, his body succumbed to the intense effort. He was admitted to Wellington Hospital the next day and was treated overnight.
Running on grass at the meet on Saturday, Jordan picked up the baton trailing the leader in the final leg of the race. He gave everything he had, sprinting at top pace for the full distance to beat the North Island team on the line by 0.04sec.
"I clawed back around 20 metres and dived at the line to get the win for us," said Jordan.
"Unfortunately, I wrecked myself in that run. I was put in hospital the next day for a night with some kidney problems."
Jordan, who was sick immediately after the race, recovered for a few hours, but woke at 2am on Sunday and was ill again.
This continued the next morning on the plane to Wellington. He was unable to consume fluids until he was admitted to hospital on Sunday night and was given fluids intravenously.
Jordan was discharged on Monday morning.
"I have spoken to doctors. It was from exhaustion - something had affected my kidneys from running too hard," he said.
"It was a repercussion of taking my body to the next level, but it was good for me. I don't regret it or anything."
Jordan is due to have more medical tests before scheduling his next events. He is due to race in Hamilton this weekend, but he said that could be a bit of a "no-go" after last weekend's health roller-coaster.
"There were probably 4000 people watching the relay. When the crowd started cheering for me, it kind of spurred me on. With 100m to go, I was in immense pain, but I had another kick and won the race.
"After that, it was all downhill for me. Everything went a bit haywire, but I'm on the up now, which is good."
The International Track Meet, held this year at Christ's College, is described as New Zealand's premier track and field event, featuring top athletes from around the country.
Earlier in the day, Jordan had raced top-class opponents over the unconventional 300m distance. He was up against the likes of double New Zealand champion Joseph Millar, who holds the national 100m and 200m titles.
Jordan demonstrated the kind of form he hopes will carry him to a third successive 400m title this year, taking a comfortable victory in 34.13sec and breaking the 300m record for the meet.
His closest competitor, Otago's Daniel O'Shea, finished in 34.28sec, with Millar third.
"It was the toughest field that could have been assembled in New Zealand," Jordan said. "I won that and was absolutely over the moon.
"Hopefully, I am going to race again soon.
"If the doctors say I am allowed, I will definitely race the 400m here [in Nelson, next week] and have a crack at a really fast time."
Jordan has said 2013 is the year he aims to break the New Zealand 400m record, set by Shaun Farrell in 1998.
Jordan, who has the third-fastest time, is only 0.3sec off the pace. He is building towards the New Zealand track nationals in Auckland in March.
- The Nelson Mail